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Case Reports

What you need to know to write a case report: resources and introductory information

Definition: What is "case report"?

Definitions provided in the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) Database:

  1. Case Reports [Publication Type]: Clinical presentations that may be followed by evaluative studies that eventually lead to a diagnosis. Year introduced: 2008(1966)
  2. Rare Diseases: A large group of diseases which are characterized by a low prevalence in the population. They frequently are associated with problems in diagnosis and treatment. Year introduced: 2003
  3. Neglected Diseases: Diseases that are underfunded and have low name recognition but are major burdens in less developed countries. The World Health Organization has designated six tropical infectious diseases as being neglected in industrialized countries that are endemic in many developing countries (HELMINTHIASIS; LEPROSY; LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS; ONCHOCERCIASIS; SCHISTOSOMIASIS; and TRACHOMA). Year introduced: 2011

Definition provided in Wikipedia

Case report: In medicine, a case report is a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports may contain a demographic profile of the patient, but usually describe an unusual or novel occurrence. Some case reports also contain a literature review of other reported cases. Case reports are professional narratives that provide feedback on clinical practice guidelines and offer a framework for early signals of effectiveness, adverse events, and cost. They can be shared for medical, scientific, or educational purposes. -- (Last edited February 2018)

Definition from the JAMAevidence Glossary:

  • Case Study: In qualitative research, an exploration of a case defined by some boundaries or contemporary phenomena, usually within a real-life context.
  • Case Series: A report of a study of a collection of patients treated in a similar manner, without a control group. For example, a clinician might describe the characteristics of an outcome for 25 consecutive patients with diabetes who received education for prevention of foot ulcers.